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Oregon Coast Surf Warnings Extended: Beach Closures, No Glass Floats

Published 01/11/2020 at 6:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon Coast Surf Warnings Extended: Beach Closures, No Glass Floats

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(Oregon Coast) – A host of beach closures and some deadly encounters are the result of the waves Saturday on the Oregon coast, as surf warnings issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) are extended. Waves up to 30 feet have been pounding the coastline during this weekend’s exceptionally high king tides, and the southern coast will be seeing these conditions longer than expected.

Several beach areas have been closed, and a favorite activity in Lincoln City is canceled for the weekend.

You can see live video of the storm at the Oregon Coast Webcams / Sky Cams page.
See the Facebook page for a collection of intense video from this weekend's storm

The National Weather Service had issued the surf advisory for the south coast a few days ago but yesterday added the northern half to the warnings.

These are in effect from different times on each half. The north coast warning has been extended to 8 p.m. Saturday. The south coast warning was extended through the afternoon on Sunday.

The south coast may see waves as high as 32 feet onshore on Friday and Saturday, the NWS said. The northern half may get breakers 30 feet to 35 feet coming onto beaches.

There are many factors going into this. One, it is a king tides event, created by the fact the Earth is closest to the sun right now and closest to the moon. Second, there are massive swells descending from the northern Pacific Ocean now, boosted by strong winds offshore.

“High surf will impact local beaches with waves crashing over jetties and moving logs on beaches,” the NWS said. “Waves will also run up much higher than usual on beaches.”

Because of dangerous conditions, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department has shut down some areas, including Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area, D River Wayside and Roads End State Recreation Site in Lincoln City, and the west parking lot at Heceta Head Lighthouse near Florence.

Lincoln City has canceled its glass float drops for the entire weekend, and then will reexamine the situation on Monday. Such high surf is far too dangerous for those drops, the visitor’s bureau said.

See Best Lodgings for Storm Watching on Oregon Coast

Another part of the tidal event is the long period swells, which are the spaces between swells. The timing is at 16 seconds or so through much of the weekend, which means waves can pile together and create one much bigger wave.

Already sizable waves have been captured on video, courtesy Haystack Rock Awareness Program in Cannon Beach.

Words of Caution for Beach Safety

Stay off Beaches During the Warning Periods

Stay far from any jetties

Stay far back from rocky ledge areas like at Yachats or Depoe Bay

Watch waves from a distant, elevated area

Heed any parking lot closures – your vehicle could get ruined

There are snow possibilities later in the week; warnings on Washington Coast

See Washington Coast Weather - Oregon Coast Weather
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